11.6.7 Some generic features of long-term national studies
Finally, the rapidly growing number of national goals and strategies oriented towards securing ambitious CO2 reduction goals, typically by 60–80% below present levels in industrialized countries, are relevant to the understanding of low-carbon transitions for the first half of this century. Some quantitative findings from some long-term national modelling studies have been summarized in Chapter 3, and some shorter-term studies earlier in this chapter. Additional studies of long-term mitigation in developing countries are beginning to emerge (e.g. Jiang and Hu, 2006; Shukla et al., 2006). The range and number of national analyses, scenarios and strategies devoted to mitigation targets is beyond the scope of this section but, in general, they suggest that there are a number of common ‘high-level’ features that underpin some main messages of the academic literature in terms of the need for a combination of:
- innovation-related action on all fronts, both R&D and market-based learning-by-doing stimulated by a variety of instruments;
- measures that establish a long-term, stable and predictable price for carbon to encourage lower carbon investment, particularly but not exclusively in power sector investments;
- measures that span the range of non-CO2 gases so as to capture the ‘low-hanging fruit’ across the economy;
- measures relating to long-lived capital stock, especially buildings and energy infrastructure;
- institution- and option-building including considerations relating both to system structures, and policy experimentation with review processes to learn which are the most effective and efficient policies in delivering such radical long-term changes as knowledge about climate impacts accumulates.